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Yamaha PSR-740

Keyboard Arrangerfrom the Yamaha PSR series

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User Reviews

Yamaha PSR 740

By MGR/Mrinal Kalakrishnan, 04/05/2002
This is my first keyboard (and only keyboard as of now), and I just needed a board to learn to play on. I got it for Rs. 40000 in India, two years ago.

It does whatever it claims to do pretty well. Nice variety of preset voices (around 700 totally, it's not a synth though) - the pianos, organs, strings, brasses, synth pads and leads are all pretty good, and usable. The "sweet voices" are... well... sweet! It has 3 DSP effects which is nice to have in a home keyboard. I can store patches sequentially in "Registration Memory" and advance through them using a footswitch, which is very useful for live playing. "Organ Flutes" is also a nice feature to play around with.

The sequencer was a disappointment. I had never used a hardware sequencer before, and I had expected more from the onboard sequencer than this. You can't record/play songs without inserting a 3 and 1/2 inch floppy, which are terribly unreliable and slow. Some onboard memory would have been nice. There is a delay while changing patches with different effects on them, but this happens with most keyboards. The "Vocal Harmony" feature is useful for nothing more than a toy, because it sounds so cheesy. And another gripe is that I can't edit sounds or make new sounds, but then it doesn't claim to be a synth, so I really can't complain.

Construction is mostly plastic, but I handle it with care, so it's not much of a problem. I face a lot of low voltage conditions here, and it's difficult to use it under such conditions, the unit starts buzzing periodically, and keeps resetting. Of course, the keyboard manufacturer can hardly be blamed for that. The key action is very light and mushy feeling, and I'm scared they might break.

Overall, it's a good keyboard for what it's supposed to do, i.e. a good home keyboard. Buy it only if you're very sure you won't need a synth in the future. I'm stuck with this now, and really feel the need for a pro synth now.

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com
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Yamaha PSR-740

By MGR/Mustapha from Cape Girardeau, Missouri, 30/12/2002
I purchased this unit from Shivelbine's Music store (535 Broadway, Cape Girardeau, Missouri) about a year ago. I traded in my old Yamaha PSR-630 and there was a bit of cash difference. I am primarily a guitar player and use the Yamaha as my back-up/background. (Basically the Yamaha plays my background music while I do melody and lead with my Ovation Adamas guitar. (which I also purchased at the same location and have used – enjoyed – for the past three, four years.)

What do I like about the unit? Well, aesthetically speaking, it is a much nicer unit than the old PSR's it replaced. I do like the multi display (though it can be very challenging to read either in daylight, when performing outdoors on a sunny day) and the units colors also seem to work well (black/gold) Then again, the “visual” elements take a backseat when it comes to sound quality, usability, etc. I’m pleased with most of the sounds available and the “sweet” sounds are also nice to experiment with and in my opinion, add more “realism” to sounds. I could do without some of the “extra” (roller coaster, laser gun, laughter, etc.) sounds and wouldn’t it be nice if one could actually “flush” sounds in the way that it is possible to do with old bios in computers? Once a year-or-two, one could simply “install” new and improved sounds… (or is this possible and I just do not know how to do it?) Yamaha, Roland, etc., are you listening? It would be nice to be able to opt out of certain sounds and place emphasis on others. Well, when I’m not playing for “money” out around town, I also compose. This is where I really come close to really “using” this unit. Most of my own compositions tend to be a bit “dark” with classical overtones and due to my own “eastern” influence, I tend to shy away from traditional beats and rhythms. (just like my birth city Istanbul {Constantinople to some} where east meets the west, something similar happens with my music, I suppose…) Though I do not explore the full potential of the rhythmic styles available, I understand the rock group Toto was “impressed” sufficiently enough to have used the PSR-740 for “drums” on their most recent album. Well, if its good enough for Toto… The recording process itself is a bit different from my old PSR-630 and is menu driven. No complaints here though, I’m able to “rough-draft” my music and “work-out” the details later as I go along. Did I mention 740's DSP capabilities? It seems the possibilities are endless and one can infinitely vary soundfield settings. There’s also a vocal harmonizer feature and singing being not my forte, I’ve left this feature well enough alone. I have seen other 740 owners utilize this feature and well, again I’ve not worked with it to have strong impressions. The "stand-alone" sound (internal amp and built in speakers) isn't too bad either and certainly is an improvement from my old 630.

Well, about the only thing that readily comes to mind is the fact that I can not vary the overall volume from the Master Volume knob when I'm out performing (when I use external amplification.) Oh, also the "cheesy" sounds such as Laser Gun, Firework, Machine Gun, etc. Why not simply devise a way to "refresh" internal sounds and to dump unwanted sounds? (again, this may well be possible?) Finaly, the floppy drive!! Why not a cd drive? (Or in the least, a zip drive?) Often I have to cart around 100+ floppy's when I could achieve the same result with a single cd! (Incidentaly, I have an onsite performance library of about 2000 cover titles which I can choose selections from for customer requests - ok, I'm sort of like a human jukebox!)

Well, I'd say the overall quality is fairly good despite the inherent limitations of plastics. As long as one is careful in the handling and storage of the keyboard, there should be no problems. The keys are fairly light weight too and at times, this can be somewhat off-setting. But the overall "fit-and-finish" is very good and aesthetically the keyboard is very pleasing. Good job Yamaha!

To begin with, I’m not exactly utilizing the full potential of this keyboard and perhaps if I were, my impressions would be somewhat different. At any rate, this is a lot of keyboard for the money and it can not very well be designed to be all things to everyone. It fills out its niche nicely, does the job and then some. Certainly, a well versed keyboard user could choose to opt for a 9000(pro) to address whatever issues the 740 could not. Would I recommend this keyboard to someone? Certainly and without any reservations. Reason would dictate that you can cram only so much into what is already a very limited space yet, Yamaha always seems to push the envelope and I’m looking forward to trying out and owning other keyboards from this manufacturer. (I have also had very good experience with Yamaha home stereo components and service) I give Yamaha a grade of A for a job well done. By the way, I’d also like to commend Shivelbine’s music (especially Bill Shievelbine, who seems to have endless patience!)- (Cape Girardeau, MO) for being very “musician friendly” and for doing much to encourage local musical talent and participation. Thanks Bill.

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com
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Yamaha PSR-740 Keyboard

By MGR/EDDY JAMES, 07/02/2003
I picked up this Keyboard at Sam Ash Music in Columbus, Ohio for around $950. It seemed like good value for the money.

I think what Im most impressed with is the sound quality of the HORNS, STRINGS, AND ORGAN settings. The effects and editing are numerous, as many as you could find time to fool with. The 16 track recorder is very easy to use,and I like being able to record a part, then change the instrument at the click of a button to see how it would sound if a different instrument was playing the part. You can also mix your recording afterwards,and mute parts as well.It has 128
registration memory settings, 32 banks of 4 each. You can change the octaves 2 steps up or down and has individule voices for left hand bass as well as right hand 1 and right hand 2 for layering another instrument.
It has pitch bend and modulation wheels. The organ Flutes mode has digital draw bars to create your own Organ sounds. Effects have six rotary speaker types, as well as many,many reverbs, chourses,distortions,tremelos,echo,wha,compressor,and much more. It has around 600 sounds with about 100 more sound effects. The "Sweet" sounds like flute ,trumpet, and sax are very,very realistic,almost stunning.The multi pads store 32 short phrases. I like having the stero outputs on the back, as well as midi,and sustain.

I dont care for lots of the drum beats. I have heard better drum patterns in other Yamaha units, older as well as newer. And Ive heard better patterns in other brands too. The biggest dissapointment is the actual playing surface, the keys. They seem very cheap, mushy,and can break the contacts inside if you play hard like I do. I would rather they got rid of all the stupid stuff that you never use, like the auto accompainment feature and demo song stuff. Changing octaves is about a three step process,not just a button click like on the newer models. And changing voices changes current drum pattern and timing, a real negative.

Construction seems not real good, like the keyboard inparticular and the housing. The stereosampled sounds seem very good for the most part, and created sounds can be obtained that are far better than the presets. While the Grand Paino sounds are very realistic, Ive heard better on other brands,and feel they should have put more paino sounds in and done away with the sound effects altogether, there unusabe most of them for any serious musician,and just take up space that could be better used for other instruments.

At any rate, the bottom line on this keyboard is that it is a great home keyboard for recording, or in a studio, but not really designed for pro use as far as playing hard on the keyboard. It seems fragile in this area and Ive already had to fix a key on it,and thats like a $75 job, parts and labor. Different instruments you play different ways, and you play an organ differently than a paino. This feels much more like an organ than a paino. While it does have touch response, there is no weighted or semi weighted keys. So your playing is being suppressed by fear of breaking the thing. The plus side to this though is that it makes playing instruments like organ ,strings, flute,and horns sound more realistic because of not having weighted action,in my opinion. Espically Organ, which I use quite a bit.
I think its a pretty good instrument in that price range as far as new equiptment verses used, and seems to have a good supply of sounds and features.

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com
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Yamaha 740 Keyboard

By MGR/Blick, 02/12/2003
I use it in Florida to entertain at Condo and Mobil Home Parks. It's great to sing by. You can run your CD player thur theline in for backup, thats why I'd like to try the Boss BR-864 as an add on.
I hope I win!!!!!!

Thank you for this

Reath Blickenderfer

E-mail reaglo_1@juno.com

I'm not too thrilled with the Voice Harmony . It may be because of the way I have it set up. I'm using a Digitech Vocalizer at the time but have another thing to carry. Sur would be a lot eazy to just use the vocal harmony on the Keyboard.

When I plug into my Power Amp it sounds just great. It has all the background to add to the CD background.The quality of the unit is great. Also with the floppy disk drive I can get a lot of Midi song arrangments.

The Yamaha 740 Keyboard is my favor. I bought a Panasonic Keyboard because it's the same Co. that makes Technic and it had some of the sounds that Technic had. After a while I went back to the Yamaha 740. I still have the Panasonic but never seem to use it.

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com
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Yamaha PSR-740 tech. sheet

  • Manufacturer:Yamaha
  • Model:PSR-740
  • Series:PSR
  • Category:Keyboard Arrangers
  • Added in our database on: 12/15/2003

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Other names: psr 740, psr740